Thursday 18 April 2024

Faith is not enough

FAITH IS NOT ENOUGH ...

 

 In Hebrews Chapter 11 we read: To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.

But what does that really mean? What is it like to have faith, and not only to believe in a living God, Creator of all and everything, but also to be certain in that belief? Without any proof, or evidence whatsoever.

It’s as if to have faith is to believe when your common sense tells you not to.

Often Jesus said to people He has healed: Your faith has healed you. Your faith has saved you.

He taught that if we had faith as small as a mustard seed we could perform miracles.

We read in Mark 9:24 that when a father asked Jesus to heal his son, he said: I believe, Lord; help my unbelief. Jesus took pity on him and realised that the man had some faith, perhaps not enough, but at least he had some; so Jesus healed the man’s son.

This leads us to ask: Is faith enough?

We may have faith, to varying degrees, depending on who we are. But is this enough?

After all, even the devil has faith. He believes in God all-right. He even tried to tempt Jesus often enough. This proves that he has faith, and believes in God. Perhaps more than we do.

So, if faith is not enough; what is missing in our relationship with God?

Trust.

Let us consider trust for a moment. A little child does not question whether his parents care for him or not. It is intrinsically part of his nature to take it for granted that his parents love him and will take care of him. When he asks them for bread they will not give him a stone, and when he asks for fish they will not give him a serpent.

The child trusts his parents and will continue to do so as he grows up; until one day someone may betray that trust and then he’ll become more wary of those around him.

So how about us? Is our faith in God matched with an unshakeable trust that He cares for us, and no matter what happens, no matter how bad things are in our lives, He is there, beside us, all the time caring for us and ready to see us through whatever crisis we face.

Can you imagine the amount of self-control and concentration of thought we should have to believe, really believe, that not matter what happens, we trust that God loves us and cares for us enough to protect us from all evil?

Such level of trust may well be beyond what many of us can achieve; but it should not stop us from trying. Through gritted teeth even. We should pray, over and again, that we trust God that He will see us through this dark period in our lives.

Faith, no matter how great or small, as much as half a mustard seed even, may not be enough. It needs to be accompanied by an unfailing trust that our loving God will never ever let us down.

It is no point having faith in a Master who walks on water if we do not trust Him enough to follow Him.

Wednesday 17 April 2024

Imagine

 

Dear Readers,

I would like to thank Manny, a frequent visitor to this Blog and an Internet friend just like you, for this wonderful article about Father Francis Maple and the song Imagine. Click HERE.

Tuesday 16 April 2024

Close encounter of the double kind

It was by far the most frightening experience of my life. I stayed overnight at an old stately home which is reputed to be haunted. I was all alone in the house.

That's when I heard someone coming in from the kitchen. Probably a burglar. I hid behind the thick curtains. I was frightened and must have cried a little because I could feel the tears trickling down my leg.

The door opened. It was the butler. 

Then from the window at the far end I saw a flash of lightening, then a bright light that would not go away. The butler remained in the room.

Moments later the door leading to the kitchen opened slowly with a creaking sound. Long bony fingers appeared on the side of the door. Then a long bony face with really big eyes. 

A diminutive humanoid type creature came in slowly. It was totally skeletal made of bones and covered in a pale grey skin. It looked like an alien from outer-space who'd just landed in the garden outside.

The alien talked. He said to the butler, "I feel a spiritual presence here. Is this house haunted?"

The butler replied, "In all the time I have worked here I have not seen a ghost."

"How long have you worked here?" asked the extra terrestrial.

 "About 400 years," replied the butler.

I started crying again.

"I notice you've only got one moon. We have seven on our planet," said the ET, "Now take me to your leader?"

"Which one?" asked the butler, "I don't have a leader. I just walk through walls and solid objects to frighten people."

"That's a neat trick," said ET, "but why the eye-patch?"

"One day I went through a key hole and someone put a key in at the same time. On another occasion I slid under a door and the maid sucked me into her vacuum cleaner while she was working. So now, it's only walking through walls for me," lamented the butler.

"We're not as versatile," said the ET fellow, "but we have tricks too. Because we move through space and time at quantum speed we can tell your future here on earth before earthlings experience it. Like travelling faster than the speed of light."

"That's clever," said the butler, "you can tell the future. Who will win the dog race tomorrow at 2:00pm?"  

"A greyhound!" affirmed ET.

"Which one?" asked the butler. 

I quickly memorised the name of the dog ET said. It was Cucumber.

The next day I rushed to the betting shop and there was a dog of that name at the 2:00pm race.

I bet £500 on Cucumber to win. It came last.

FOOTNOTE: Why are ghosts always in old haunted houses and ancient castles? Why aren't there ghosts at the supermarket, or your favourite fast-food outlet, or in a public toilet in the mall?  

Do ghosts always speak in English? Or can they speak other languages? If so, would you be scared of a ghost speaking a foreign language? 

What would you do if you were at home alone and you heard the toilet flush? I'd probably wet myself.

And what would you do if a ghost told you for certain that tomorrow you will die? I'd probably stop re-cycling. Recycling is so tedious, don't you think?

Anyway, some thoughts for you to ponder about, especially when you're at home alone. 

BOOOH !!! (I bet that made you jump).

Monday 15 April 2024

Bitten by bugs

 

Like many people, I am not immune from worries, concerns, doubts and some fears as to what may happen next.

The world is full of conflict at present. Global conflict amongst many peoples, conflict closer to home in one's own country, town or city, or even in one's family.

How many people have had a disagreement or serious falling out with another member of the family and as a result both vowed not to speak or see each other again. In doing so, not only have they built a great chasm between them preventing forgiveness and reconciliation, but they have also denied a future generation, their own children, from growing up knowing their cousins, uncles, aunts and other members of their families.

By taking entrenched positions that they are right, and the other person is wrong, they have sentenced their own offspring to a different life of not knowing their own extended family; and they have denied the older generation the joy and pleasure of seeing grand-children, nephews and nieces growing up.

What chance has the world to know peace if we can't keep the peace amongst our own families.

When conflict is great in the world we should recognise it for what it is. The continuous challenge of the devil against the Kingdom of God. It is by sowing conflict, fears and doubts that he surely draws us away from the path to eternal Heaven.

We make Satan's work easy for him by maintaining our point of view that we were right in our  disagreements with others. We do this without analysing how important the matter is compared to an eternity in hell.

Truly, the world will never know peace until it learns to forgive.

If we are to dispel our worries, fears and doubts about the future, let us start by making peace with God and each other.

Sunday 14 April 2024

Scars

 

Scars are a reminder to forgive again. 

Look people, we all have scars. We may try hiding them with a piece of Elastoplast plaster, or with mascara make-up paint that hide blemishes on our skin, or by wearing long sleeved shirts and blouses; but the scars are still there and will always remain there.

Especially those scars on our minds that remind us of hurts done to us in the past and the pain keeps re-ocurring with every reminder. They will also always be there. We may hide them with different camouflage, like humour, or shrugging of the shoulder and pretending all is well, or by convincing ourselves and others that we have moved on and its all behind us. 

But who are we kidding? The scars are still there and if we're not careful they'll affect our life, our progress and our future.

We must deal with our scars.

Jesus said, "I have come in order that you might have life--life in all its fullness." John 10:10  

He did not say that we should restrain life with scars, regrets and self-admonition.

When we let our scars hold us back we are doing Christ a disservice and insulting the great sacrifice He endured for us on the Cross.

He has scars too on His hands, feet and side. When He sees them He asks His Father to forgive once again.

We too, should use our scars as an opportunity to forgive once again and move on in God's grace and love.

Saturday 13 April 2024

Father Francis Sings

 

 




Thursday 11 April 2024

My Dear Atheist Friend

 

My Dear Atheist Friend,

I really am not able to convince you that God exists; some would say I should not even try. This is because you are probably well-educated, logical and clinical in your thinking, and analytical in search of proof and evidence in your research. 

Either that, or you probably never gave God a thought and are not likely to start doing so now. 

Either way, I am advised that it is better not to engage in conversation and try to change your mind, because your mind is made up, and you are right, and it follows that everyone else is wrong in their beliefs.

The thing is, I admire your Faith. You are sure, certain even, that God does not exist. 

I sometimes wish that believers in God had as much Faith as you. But they often doubt, hesitate, wonder and analyse what they believe. To them, nothing is 100% certain. They just believe in blind Faith; without tangible measurable proof that your intellect would require and insist on. 

But then, is that not what Faith is about? To believe when your common sense tells you not to?

Some believers, like me, would say that they have proof that God exists, and that Jesus is His only Son. 

They would say that God proved it to them personally. Their stories may differ as to how and when they were assured by God of His existence. How they came to believe. But the thing is that whatever they say, it will lack the evidence and proof that an analytical searching mind would require.

Others would say that Faith is a gift from God. We are given Faith by His grace. That is true, but we must take the first step. We must want to have Faith. We must want to believe. God does not force Himself on anyone. No one is sent to Heaven against their wishes.

There's one thing, however, I would ask you my Atheist friend. Have you considered the possibility that in one chance per million you are possibly wrong in your belief?

I shall pray that one day you may consider that possibility.

God bless.

Wednesday 10 April 2024

Much Ado About Laughter



"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend, and inside of a dog it's too dark to read." (Groucho Marx)

MUCH ADO ABOUT LAUGHTER is not a book for dogs. 
 
It is a book of short humourous stories and anecdotes, some heard here and there over the years, others originating from the deep recesses of my mind. They have been carefully selected by me and my loyal readers as amongst our favourites to hopefully make you smile when life is dark and miserable, or even when a bright light shines inside your dog.

My English teacher used to say never split an infinitive. So he will not be happy with “to hopefully make you smile”; but then, he did not write a book like this did he?

He also told me once “Your grammar stinks!” Which was very hurtful I think, especially since my grandma always smelled of lavender perfume and eau de cologne.

MUCH ADO ABOUT LAUGHTER is available in Paperback and KINDLE from HERE

A 2 minute trailer advertising MUCH ADO ABOUT LAUGHTER
   
From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it. (Groucho Marx).

BUY MUCH ADO ABOUT LAUGHTER FROM HERE

KINDLE FORMAT HERE
 

Tuesday 9 April 2024

Time to Smile

 


Wife, “Honey, soon there will be 3 of us here! Isn’t that great?”
Husband replies excitingly, “Oh darling, that is simply wonderful!!!”
Wife, “I’m so happy you react that way! I did tell my Mom you won’t mind her moving in!” 

====================== 

Grandpa’s last words will stay with me forever: “Quit rattlin’ the ladder ya little hooligan!”

====================== 

An elderly man was on the operating table, about to be operated on by his son, a famous surgeon. Just before they put him under, he asked to speak to his son:
"Don’t be nervous, boy, just do your best and just remember, if it doesn’t go well, if something happens to me… your mother is going to come and live with you and your family."

======================  

A new boss is appointed in an office, and he has a really fierce reputation.
He’s walking through the office for the first time when he spots a guy just leaning against a door frame, doing nothing just staring in mid-distance.
The boss decides to show everybody how things are going to be from now on. He approaches the guy and asks him sternly, “What is your monthly salary?”
“£1500,” replies the man, a bit surprised.
The boss whips out his wallet, thrusts £3000 at the guy and yells, “There’s your two months’ pay, now get out of here and never show your face again!”
The guy takes the money and leaves. The boss, feeling good he’s shown everybody how idle hands are dealt with, asks, “So what was that lazy jerk doing in this place?”
One clerk shrugs, “He just delivered our pizza.”

======================  

A wife calls her husband at work, “Robert, have you ever experienced this piercing pains all over your body? Like as if somebody had a voodoo doll image of you and was sticking pins into it?”
“No…” he replied confusedly.
“Alright, hang on… and now?”

====================== 

A jellyfish has existed as a species for 500 million years, surviving just fine without a brain. That gives hope to quite a few people.

====================== 

A chemist walks into a pharmacy and says, “Do you have acetylsalicylic acid, please?”
“You mean aspirin?” wonders the pharmacist.
“Ah yeah, aspirin, I can never remember that name!”

====================== 

I went on a date with a chess player to an Italian restaurant with chequered table cloths. It took him maybe half an hour to pass the salt.

Monday 8 April 2024

Old Masters

 

1 - Ok Folks, once again I need your help. In an attempt to appear learned I have been studying old masterpieces and wondering what was in the artist's mind when he created such a work which is so admired years later. The first is a sculpture by Rodin called The Kiss. As you can see, I have renamed it "I can see right up your nose!"

Can you think of a better or more amusing title for No. 1?

For fun, no prizes, can you rename the masterpieces below, and for an extra point, do you know who the artist is?  

2

3
4

5

6
7
8

Sunday 7 April 2024

Doubting Thomas

 

John 20:19-31

...  Now Thomas, (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came ...

... A week later His disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

Thomas said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”

Then Jesus told Him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

How do you feel about that? Don't we too have our faith going up and down from time to time? Sometimes we are so sure in what, or Whom, we believe, and at other times we're confused, our head is in a spin, and we wonder what's it all about.

Before judging poor Thomas who, with the other disciples, had gone through a horrendous period seeing Jesus, their leader, arrested, tortured and crucified, let us for a while consider things from his viewpoint.

Remember, the other disciples too did not believe when the women gave them the news that Jesus had risen from the dead. So they have nothing to be congratulated for.

They were all in a trauma; until they saw Jesus with their own eyes and He showed them His wounds and spoke to them.

Unwittingly, Thomas did us all a favour. Because he did not at first believe, Jesus appeared again and the event was witnessed and written about by John. Had Thomas believed the disciples this event would not have happened and written about for us to read and believe.

A sober thought when we too sometimes hesitate in our faith. 

I believe Lord, help my unbelief.  Mark 9:24

Friday 5 April 2024

Attractions

 

Right folks, I need your help with this. We were having a discussion at a family gathering over Easter and the subject was the most popular tourist attraction in the world. Someone suggested the pyramids, or Niagara Falls, Disney World, or the Eiffel Tower.

Personally, I don't agree about the Eiffel Tower and would not recommend it. It is not authentic. I went there some years ago and it does not lean to one side as in the photos. We bought a small model of the tower and when we got home it too was as straight as can be. I had to put some chewing gum under two of the legs to make it lean sideways. Only we did not know whether it should lean to the left or the right. Someone suggested it depends on which way you approach it. But when you're at home you can only approach it from the door as you enter the room. They should give you instructions with the model as to where you put the chewing gum - not included.

I suggested a great tourist attraction is the screwdriver museum. I think it's either in London or Edinburgh. I've never been, but I read it contains all kind and size of screwdrivers over the ages. Some have different tips like a cross rather than a straight line, others have a tip that looks like a star. Others have a magnetic tip so that the screw does not fall off. You could be there all day marvelling at all the exhibits.

Also, another great tourist attraction is the cross-junction between Acacia Avenue and Acorn Drive. It is visited by thousands of tourists every year, but has never been mentioned in tour guide magazines or brochures, despite its many visitors and it being near the local airport. There's also a nearby fast-food restaurant there in case you're a bit peckish whilst watching the passing traffic.

I heard that somewhere, can't remember where, there's a pencil museum. It contains all sorts of pencils of different sizes, colours, hardness of tip, and graduation of the graphite it contains. They have there a pencil used by Shakespeare when he wrote his plays. It's graded 2B, or not 2B; can't remember exactly which.

There's also a famous museum containing glasses/spectacles of famous people over the ages. Including the ones that Van Gogh dropped when he cut off his ear.

Anyway, how about you? What do you think is the most famous tourist attraction?